A local talk radio host facing numerous slander lawsuits responded with court filings of his own Thursday, while challenging those who filed suit.
Documents filed on behalf of Rejoice Inc. and Brian L. "Ryan B" Doyle warn the plaintiffs that if their lawsuits aren't dropped within 30 days, Mr. Doyle and the station owners will seek attorney fees and court costs from the plaintiffs.
Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength, the Rev. Kenneth Martin, the Rev. Charles N. Utley, the Rev. Clarence Moore, former Augusta Commissioner Bobby G. Hankerson and bank executive Cedric Johnson have filed separate Richmond County Superior Court lawsuits against Mr. Doyle and the owners of radio station WAAW 94.7.
Each of the lawsuits claims that Mr. Doyle slandered them with false on-air accusations.
In response to the lawsuits that were filed by the Rev. Utley, the Rev. Martin and the Rev. Hankerson, the defendants counter: "Defendant Doyle's activism is seen as a threat by many wealthy powerful people who do not wish their dealings to be exposed to the light of day.
"Plaintiff and several other members of the elite power structure or those who do their bidding have conspired to bring numerous lawsuits against these defendants in an effort to burden defendants financially and quiet defendant Doyle's struggle to expose corruption and unify the minority community.''
The defendants maintain that the lawsuits are an abusive use of the courts and are "the actions of a cowardly, dishonest, racist, broadcaster named Rhodes who has fomented these lawsuits and who defendants hope to add as a party to this litigation."
Austin Rhodes, who has a talk radio show on WGAC-AM in Augusta, sued Mr. Doyle for slander in Aiken County Common Pleas Court. Mr. Rhodes won the case when Mr. Doyle did not respond to the legal complaint.
Mr. Doyle and the station owners have not yet responded to either the Rev. Moore or Mr. Johnson's suits.
In response to Sheriff Strength's, the defendants are asking the judge to disqualify his attorney, E. Freddie Sanders, claiming that as a former deputy sheriff he is a potential witness.
Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.